What Is A DWI Deferred Adjudication?
When you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, it is essential to understand that you could be looking at serious penalties if you are convicted. Indeed, even a first offense for a DWI in Texas can result in up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year. In addition, you can face more state fines that can range from $3,000 to $6,000 when you are sentenced. Accordingly, it is critical to take all actions you can to avoid a conviction, including hiring an experienced DWI defense attorney in Temple, Texas. One way to avoid some of the more severe consequences associated with a DWI conviction in Texas is to see if you are eligible for deferred adjudication.
As of September 1, 2019, first-time DWI offenders facing DWI charges may be eligible for deferred adjudication. What is deferred adjudication, and how can it help you? Our Temple DWI defense attorneys can explain in more detail below.
Learning About Deferred Adjudication
What is deferred adjudication? If you are eligible for deferred adjudication when you are charged with a first-time DWI offense, you will have an ability to plead no contest (i.e., plead guilty) to the DWI charges you are facing. In exchange for pleading guilty to the DWI charges, you will undergo a probationary period. If you complete the set terms of the probationary period, you can have the case against you dismissed, and you will not have a DWI conviction or indication that you are guilty of a DWI on your record. For nearly all first-time DWI offenders who are unlikely to beat the charges in court, deferred adjudication can allow you to avoid the consequences of a DWI conviction in court.
Deferred adjudication had been an option for first-time DWI offenders in Texas in the past, but that option was later eradicated. With the passage of HB 3582, deferred adjudication for first-time DWI offenders again became a possibility for people in Texas.
Probationary Period and Restrictions
What is involved in the probationary period, and what restrictions are associated with deferred adjudication? In addition to probation, you may be required to perform community service, and you also may be required to attend an alcohol education program. You will also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed. You will have to pay for the ignition interlock device yourself, although the judge can establish a reasonable payment plan for you under the law.
If you are charged with a subsequent DWI, you should know that your original first-time DWI charge will be reinstated.
Seek Advice from a Temple DWI Defense Lawyer
When you are facing DWI charges, you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Texas about the possibility of deferred adjudication based on the facts of your case. Your attorney can provide you with more information about deferred adjudication and your eligibility. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the experienced Temple DWI defense lawyers at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today.